Table of Contents

  1. First Reading (Matins)
  2. Second Reading (Matins, cont.)
  3. Third reading (Daybreak: Lavabo and Second Morning Offices)
  4. Reading Four (Prime)
  5. Reading Five (Prime and the Chapter Room)
  6. Reading Six (Discipline in the Chapter Room)
  7. Reading Seven (From the Chapter Room to the Cloister, and Terce)
  8. Reading Eight (Terce and Preparation for Mass)
  9. Reading Nine (Mass)
  10. Reading Ten (Mass, cont.)
  11. Reading Eleven (Sext, Refectory)
  12. Reading Twelve (Refectory)
  13. Reading 13a (Refectory-Dormitory)
  14. Reading 14a (None)
  15. Reading 15 (Vespers, Processions)
  16. Reading 16 (Collation and Compline)
  17. Reading 17 (Dormitory)
  18. Reading 18: On Making Rounds
  19. Reading 19: On the Abbot
  20. Reading 20a: On the Prior
  21. Reading 21a: On the Sub-prior
  22. Reading 22a: On the Steward (Provost)
  23. Reading 23a: On the Vestarer
  24. Reading 24: On the Infirmarer
  25. Reading 25: On the Hospitaller
  26. Reading 26: On the Kitchener (and food)
  27. Reading 27: On the Cantor
  28. Reading 28: On the Cellarer
  29. Reading 29: On the Refectorer
  30. Reading 30: On the Almoner
  31. Reading 31: On the Sacristan
  32. Reading 32: On the Grainarer (Granary Keeper)
  33. Reading 33: On the Census-Taker (Argentarius)
  34. On the Procurators
  35. Reading 34: On how it is necessary to be present at the canonical hours
  36. Reading 35: Concerning the Weekly Priest (Hebdomadarius)
  37. Reading 36: On Maundy (Mandatum)
  38. Reading 37: On Welcoming Novices and Making Profession
  39. Reading 38: On the tonsure
  40. Reading 39: On the Porter
  41. Reading 40: On the Pittancer
  42. Reading 41: On Bloodlettings
  43. Reading 42 and last things (Restrictions on the Conversi)
  44. On Permission to Go Outside and Other Things
  45. Reading 43: On Places of Silence and Benediction
  46. Article 3: No Eating in the Dormitory Room
  47. Article 4: Which Women May Permissibly Enter the Cloister
  48. Article 4 (bis): No Lying Down or Eating Outside our Houses
  49. Article 5: Permission for Talking with an Outsider and for Going out of the Choir
  50. Article 6: All Shall Read at the Table
  51. Article 7: The Seal of the Chapter
  52. Article 8: "Not Mine, but Ours"
  53. Lectio 44: On those who are living in dependent parishes
  54. Article 2: Priors and their Socii (associates) in dependant parishes
  55. Article 3: On recalling those who are living in dependant parishes
  56. Article 4: On Prohibited Games
  57. Article 5: That Books for our use should be in dependent parishes
  58. Customary oath on receiving an abbot

Glossary / Notes

Reading 20a: On the prior

When a prior is being instated, the abbot and the whole community being present, by the communal agreement of all five or six person will be selected, who, after furnishing a simple oath as assurance, withdrawing aside and after deliberation returning into the chapter room, name the person about whom they have reached agreement. And the abbot ought to bestow the office on him who was named; and he (the person elected) ought to receive it humbly. The seat of the prior is in the left part of the choir, in front of the rest in the church - that is to say opposite to the abbot. He shall perform the weekly service just as other priests. He shall sing the first mass on the nativity of the Lord, and he shall sing the sixth responsory with the abbot on duplex feasts. When the abbot reads the ninth reading, the prior reads the eighth. After the ninth reading, which the lord abbot shall read, the prior shall say the benediction standing. On major feasts, when the abbot is absent, he replaces him and when duplex [feasts] for the dead are done. On the feast days of nine lessons the prior shall sing the ninth responsory. He always ought to be in the convent, unless the welcoming of guest or other reasonable occasion has detained him. As to which if he is detected by the convent to dissociate himself from diligence and devotion (i.e. that he is not devoted or diligent enough), he [shall] quickly be found to receive a note of levity and lack of constancy (for it). He shall have no other dependency outside. He shall perform absolution at Compline and at Prime when the abbot is absent, unless the weekly priest of the morning mass comes forth to celebrate. Every [kind of] permission, whether for going outside, for speaking with some outsider, for bloodletting, or for receiving a gift, is to be requested from him. Those permitted (to do something) by the prior, if they had been stopped by the abbot, ought to ask permission from him again. If some of the above have permission given by the abbot, they ought to notify the prior. When, moreover, the abbot is present, permission to go out of the town is not to be given by the prior himself to anyone. But if the abbot is absent, the prior can give (such permission), as long as the person is to return in three days, but not more, unless some clear necessity compels him to delay longer.

The prior shall grant permission to no one for going into town, unless compelling need arises. Also it is the character of his office to investigate diligently the brothers' transgressions or offences and the matters, which need to be corrected, to correct according to rule - to tolerate many, to disguise most, and it is up to his discretion what is to be arranged within and without. Without consulting the prior no one is to be promoted or removed, or put in charge or discharged; also, when the abbot is away, all ought to obey him in honest and useful things. If they do not do this, they are to be gravely punished, and if they are found out to be doing harm another time, in case the abbot is delayed in far away part or in travelling, the prior can remove those persons from the council of the brothers. It also pertains to his office to provide for all the deficiencies of the convent in its needs. To him especially pertains the striking of the cymbal, and in the morning the awakening of the brothers in the dormitory by the ringing of the bell. If, however, the prior seems to be doing harm, just as he is elected by the council, he shall be deposed.

DE PRIORE : lectio 20a.

Quando statuendus est prior, domino abbate et toto conuentu praesentibus, eliguntur quinque uel sex de communi assensu omnium, qui praestito simplici iuramento, in partem secedentes, habita deliberatione, redeuntes in capitulo, nominant illum in quem consenserunt. Abbas autem illi qui nominatus fuerit, debet officium iniungere, et ille humiliter recipere. Prioris sedes ante alios in ecclesia in sinistra parte chori ex abbatis scilicet transuerso consistat. Septimanam suam sicut alii sacerdotes faciat. Primam missam in natiuitate Domini cantet, et sextum responsorium cum abbate in duplicibus festis. Quando abbas legit nonam lectionem, prior octauam. Super nonam lectionem quam dominus abbas lecturus est, prior stando benedictionem dicat. In magnis festis, absente abbate, suppleat eius officium, et quando fiunt duplicia pro mortuis. In festis nouem lectionum nonum responsorium prior cantet. In conuentu semper esse debet, nisi hospitum susceptio aut aliqua rationabilis occasio eum retinuerit. Quod si de studio uel industria ab eo se subtrahere deprehenditur, leuitatis aut inconstantiae cito notam incurrere deprehenditur. Nullam aliam oboedientiam habeat exterius. Absolutionem ad completorium et ad primam faciat, abbate absente, nisi cum septimanarius matitunalis missae accedit ad celebrandum. Omnes licentiae, siue foras egrediendi siue cum aliquo extraneo colloquendi aut minuendi aut aliquod munus accipiendi, ab ipso postulentur. Licentiati a priore, si abbati obuiauerint, debent ab ipso iterum licentiam postulare. Si aliqui praedictorum ab abbate licentiam habuerint, debent priori notificare. Praesente autem abbate, extra uillam exeundi ab ipso priore nulli licentia praebeatur. Si uero absens abbas fuerit, dummodo intra triduum sit redditurus, potest dare, nec magis, nisi manifesta necessitas eum cogat amplius commorari.

Prior nulli licentiam tribuat eundi in uillam, nisi cogens necessitas emerserit. Ipsius etiam officii est transgressiones seu offensiones fratrum diligenter inuestigare, et quae corrigenda sunt, regulariter emendare, multa tollerare, plurima dissimulare, et ex eius consilio fiat quicquid intus forisue disponitur. Eo inconsulto, nullus promouetur uel remouetur, uel praeponitur aut deponitur ; absente etiam abbate, omnes in honestis et utilibus debent ei oboedire. Quod si non fecerint, grauiter puniantur, et si alias inutiles inuenti fuerint, abbate in longinquis partibus seu peregrinationibus moram faciente, eos de consilio fratrum poterit amouere. Ad ipsius etiam officium pertinet omnes defectus conuentus in necessitatibus ipsius prouidere. Ad ipsum specialiter pertinet cymbali percussio, et in mane fratrum in dormitorio a dormitione per nolae tinnitum excitatio. Si autem prior inutilis uideatur, sicut de consilio eligitur, ita deponatur.


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